One of the biggest environmental organizations involved in the sports industry, the Green Sports Alliance has 151 teams, 165 venues, and 14 leagues totaling 330 members all with the single goal of improving their sustainability efforts.

Needless to say, sports teams are beloved by millions and by teams and sports are a huge part of people’s lives, and leagues are fully aware of the impact that they have on the masses. The NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB using their influence to make a positive impact by making millions of sports fans aware of the importance of sustainability whether at home, on the field or in the rink.

At both the professional, collegiate and even at the recreational level, members encourage their fans to tackle sustainable practices head on including green energy, water conservation, recycling, composting, eco-friendly chemicals, sustainable packaging and environmentally friendly supply chains.

So, how exactly are these leagues and arenas setting an example for environmentalism? Here are a few examples.

NHL Gets Involved With Climate Change Efforts

NHL Arena

The National Hockey League is going head to head with global warming and have put their best skate forward at lowering their carbon footprint in 2015, so much so that the Environmental Protection Agency awarded their 2015 Green Power Leadership Award to the league. The EPA and the NHL, two organizations you wouldn’t expect to see in the same sentence.

The League was also on hand at the COP21 Climate Talks in Paris this past November. Their participation was quite surprising for many who aren’t familiar with the leagues green efforts. One of the main reasons for their attendance is the fact that hockey relies on ice, cold weather and fresh water, all things that could potentially be threatened by climate change.

The NHL, in participation with the GSA, are staying diligent to ensure that an arena isn’t the only place future generations can find ice.

Raising Awareness through Green Games & Competitions.

Football Stadium

The Portland Trail Blazers are showcasing five different aspects of sustainability – energy, waste, food, water, and transportation and what the team and the Moda Center are doing to improve on each of these aspects during five games throughout the season.

They also plan to lay out the goals set for these five areas that they intend to achieve by 2025.

On the collegiate side of things, all 12 members of the NCAA Pac-12 Athletic Conference, in partnership with the Green Sports Alliance, had a little friendly competition with one another to see which campus could divert the most trash from landfills at various home games throughout the 2015 season.

The competitions mentioned above are a great way to for schools to up their recycling rates while raising awareness on sustainability.

Arenas Becoming Sustainable Powerhouses

Ice Hockey Arena

All over North America, arenas are upping their sustainability game thanks to their partnership with the Green Sports Alliance.

The GSA equips sports complexes with the resources and tools they need to green every facet of their operations from waste diversion, organics collection, sustainable cleaning supplies to solar energy, water conservation and cutting down on fuel consumption.

A majority of the resources found on the GSA website are free to anyone and serve as a great jumping off point for anybody looking to add a bit more green to their lives. Members receive exclusive access to webinars and industry experts to coach them on their way to the sustainable big leagues.

The next time you’re cheering on your favorite team whether it is hockey, football, baseball or basketball, keep in mind that win or lose, they’re all winning at protecting the environment.